Amazon's "Alexa" can do many things: announce the time, search for films and series on command or read out recipes - and now the language assistant can also play board games. To be more precise: Alexa can explain the rules for the titles Zug um Zug and Zug um Zug Euro and if there are no players, Amazon's omniscient voice is even available for a game.
How Asmodee According to Germany, Days of Wonder has made the Alexa skills available as a free download. This at least changes the way you can play Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe - in the long term, the way you play board games could even fundamentally change. There were already apps that read out the rules of the game and guided you through the game step by step, and using voice assistants for a board game is not new. However, playing a game against the AI voice is a completely new experience.
"Alexa, open Ticket to Ride"
The free Alexa Skills for Ticket to Ride and Ticket to Ride Europe are now available in the Skill Store. "For the first time in Germany, customers who do not yet own the board games can order them directly from Amazon's Skills," explains Asmodee. The start then works on command: After the players have said “Alexa, open Ticket to Ticket” or “Alexa, open Ticket to Ticket Europe”, they are taken on a guided journey for both games from setup to the end of the game.
Beginners in particular can benefit from the technology: Regardless of the gaming experience, the skills offer new opportunities for playing and learning. For those new to the game, they offer a full walkthrough of the rules during the game. Experienced players can skip the explanation and use other aids to the skills: keep track of the remaining pieces for each player, the longest
Track the route, count points and more.
The possibility of using Alexa as an independent player could also prove to be practical. Groups can access an additional AI, and solo players can even play alone against “Alexa” turn by turn. And not only that: During the game, the Alexa Skills offer themed background music and sound effects to immerse players even further in the world of Ticket to Ride.
"I've known Zug um Zug for a long time and I'm happy that customers can now also discover the game with Alexa. Thanks to the Alexa Skills, the gaming experience is even more interactive,” says Philipp Berger, Country Lead Amazon Alexa Germany. "It's great to be able to do the Zug um Zug und Zug um together with Amazon in Germany
Bring Train Europe Skills to Alexa devices. We believe this is a great way for players to discover these classic games for the first time or in an amazing new way,” said Adrien Martinot, CEO of Days of Wonder.
Incidentally, the fact that AI systems are let loose on board games is actually a fact Subject of research.
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